03/11/2012 18:00 GMT | Updated 03/11/2012 18:03 GMT

'X Factor' Review: Nicole Scherzinger Goes Essex For Rylan, Plus Jahmene, Ella And Christopher Impress

'X Factor' is halfway through its live shows and this week the remaining contestants were tasked with singing 'number one' songs well enough to get them votes from the public.

After the unexpected departure of show favourite Lucy Spraggan due to illness, there was very much a "the show must go on" attitude about Saturday's episode.

Glossing over the incident, show host Dermot O'Leary explained: "Sadly Lucy isn't well enough to perform so she's decided to withdraw from the competition."

Her mentor Tulisa added: "She is an amazing person to work with... this is not the end of Lucy, or the last you are going to see of her."


Rylan Clark performs

Rylan Clark kicked off the show, determined to prove to Gary Barlow that he could sing. His song choice? Madonna's 'Hung Up' mixed with Abba's 'Gimme Gimme'. He dedicated the song to Lucy, shouting "this one's for you Spraggan, I love you." Should someone tell him it's not a radio request show?

"It was camp, it was over the top and you always put a smile on everyone's face," said Louis.

"I have a feeling that may be your last performance on the X Factor," Gary warned.

Rylan's mentor wasn't happy. Reciting what she learnt on a trip to Essex this week, Nicole Scherzinger told Gary: "Shurrrup... you're well jel." It's worth noting that not everyone in Essex speaks like Rylan and has orange tans, ITV.

Next, Louis Walsh's boy band Union J sang Taylor Swift's 'Love Story', which was perfect for their teen fans. And then it was time for Gary's act Kye Sones to prove his doubters wrong, singing New Radicals' 'You Get What You Give'. Tulisa said: "You rocked it" and even Louis praised his performance by comparing him to Robbie Williams.

x factor

Union J

James Arthur gave another emotional performance, when he took to the stage to sing No Doubt's 'Don't Speak'. Getting all Professor Green on us he threw in a rap, which left me wanting to give him a hug. "You deserve a record deal," said Louis.

Ella Henderson, the last remaining girl in the competition, was back at her best tonight as she sang a slow version of Katy Perry's 'Firework'. "Simplicity is really the key for this competition for you," praised Gary.

District3's performance of 'Dynamite' by Taio Cruz was rubbish, and all the judges agreed, except their mentor Louis of course.

Jahmene Douglas belted out Beyoncé’s 'Listen' and while it didn't reach the superstar's singing standards, it was still pretty damn good. Gary said: "It's an enormous song with an enormous range, you killed it tonight." And Nicole called the shy singer "a slice of heaven."

Last to perform was Christopher Maloney, with a shockingly impressive rendition of Eric Carmen's 'All By Myself'. Where has he been hiding that voice?

X Factor Finalists